Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga (centre) File photo: ANA

TSHWANE – City of Tshwane’s chief of staff Marietha Aucamp has been placed on special leave following media reports stating that she did not have adequate qualifications for her job, and that Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga was instrumental in her appointment. 

“The City of Tshwane wishes to set the record straight regarding media reports that seek to suggest that the executive mayor of Tshwane, Councillor Solly Msimanga, participated in - and implicitly condoned the alleged flouting of the law to favour the appointment of the chief of staff in his office Marietha Aucamp. Aucamp applied and was shortlisted for the vacant position of Chief of Staff in October 2016 and was selected as the most suitable candidate for appointment,” said Selby Bokaba, Tshwane’s executive director for strategic communications. 

Bokaba said Aucamp “came out highest on the panel members’ scores.” 

The panel members consisted of Msimanga, MMC for corporate and shared services Cilliers Brink and former acting city manager Lindiwe Kwele. 

“After the interviewing process, Aucamp was sent for a department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs supervised assessment for senior managers in November 2016. Information has since surfaced in the media purporting to show that Aucamp indicated in the assessment form that she was in possession of a B:Tech degree. Neither in her application form for the position nor in her CV did she state that she was in possession of any post matric qualification,” said Bokaba. 

“It sounds illogical and irrational for any applicant who was shortlisted, interviewed and scored highest in the interview as well as in the assessment to claim to possess qualifications she didn’t have. While it’s advantageous for the candidate to be in possession of the required qualification, it however doesn’t preclude a candidate in the political office to be considered for the position without having the relevant qualification, as what is required is experience and grasp of local government. As Chief Whip [of the Democratic Alliance], Aucamp has the managerial experience of 16 years.” 

Bokaba said Msimanga’s spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi had erred in his response to a News24 enquiry around the saga.

“The spokesperson for Msimanga, Samkelo Mgobozi, in response to a media enquiry from News24 mistakenly denied that Msimanga was involved in the selection process. At the time when he responded he wasn’t appraised of all the facts,” said Bokaba.

“The Executive Mayor has requested the city manager to conduct an urgent investigation into this matter and Aucamp has since been placed on special leave.”

News24 reported that Aucamp landed the R1.2m per year job despite not having the required qualifications. According to the report, the job advert required that the candidates have a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification.

Aucamp has previously worked as the chief whip of the DA in the Tshwane metro. Her references on her short CV reportedly include the DA's federal chairperson James Selfe.

African News Agency/ANA